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ONEFamily Outreach exists to "Connect Kids to Community and Communities to Kids."
I originally began posting these studies as a service to the jails and shelters where I was a Chaplain. They are available for free. If you can make a donation (no donation is too small), that would help defray some of the costs and support our work. If you are unable to support us at this time -- it's okay, I've been there too -- God bless you in your ministry and I pray this study can be a blessing to you.ONEFamily Outreach is primarily supported by your donations and by trainings, workshops, retreats and concerts.
“Bring Them to Me!”
[Mt 14:13] Now when Jesus heard about John, He withdrew from there in a boat to a secluded place by Himself; and when the people heard of this, they followed Him on foot from the cities.  When He went ashore, He saw a large crowd, and felt compassion for them and healed their sick.
 Now when Jesus heard about John, He withdrew from there in a boat to a secluded place by Himself; and when the people heard of this, they followed Him on foot from the cities.  When He went ashore, He saw a large crowd, and felt compassion for them and healed their sick.
When Jesus heard about John...
Jesus withdrew… Luke tells us that Jesus withdrew before every major decision of his life and we see here that he withdrew after the painful experiences as well. In fact, it was after the painful experience of John’s incarceration and eventual martyrdom that Jesus enters the next—sacrificial—phase of his ministry.
They followed Him on foot...
Wherever Jesus went—even when it was out to the country to retreat in prayer—people followed him. He was wise, compassionate and offered peace to all who sought him. Would the same be said of us? Do people seek us because Christ’s compassion flows out of our daily life? The other day in juvenile detention I told the kids; “If you want to be employed forever, to always have deep, abiding friendships then spend your life unlocking the potential of others.” That’s what Jesus did and why people have sought his guidance throughout history.
 When it was evening, the disciples came to Him and said, “This place is desolate and the hour is already late; so send the crowds away, that they may go into the villages and buy food for themselves.”  But Jesus said to them, “They do not need to go away; you give them something to eat!”  They *said to Him, “We have here only five loaves and two fish.”  And He said, “Bring them here to Me.”
“You give them something to eat!”
Here we find a contrast between how we often act as disciples and how Christ wants us to behave. The disciples and Jesus both see the masses of the impoverished followers seeking a shepherd. Jesus feels gut-wrenching compassion whereas the disciples want to send them away to get on with their retreat. Jesus knows the people’s hunger and wants them fed; the disciples see their numbers and are defeated by the sheer size of the crowd. Jesus sees what is impossible and calls on God in faithful expectation. In contrast, the disciples identify all the impossibilities and give up. Jesus’ prayer of faithful expectation leads to action; the disciple’s viewpoint leads to cynicism.
Let us greet the day with the resounding cry of our glorious Savior, even if everyone else turns away in cynicism, let God hear our expectant response: “Bring them here to me.”
 Ordering the people to sit down on the grass, He took the five loaves and the two fish, and looking up toward heaven, He blessed the food, and breaking the loaves He gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the crowds,  and they all ate and were satisfied. They picked up what was left over of the broken pieces, twelve full baskets.  There were about five thousand men who ate, besides women and children.
“He blessed the food...”
Theologians will endlessly debate whether Jesus multiplied the bread and fish as the crowds gathered to eat or whether the crowds hid their food until a child shared his/her meager resources (embarrassing the crowd into sharing what they were hoarding). The debate simply splits hairs; either way the result is miraculous.
These are the attitudes of the miraculous. Do they resemble my attitudes right now? Do I have that attitude even as I write this? Am I ready to be a blessing with whatever I have; wherever I am? Then, I am ready to witness the miraculous work of Jesus Christ!
About the Author
Jerry Goebel is a community organizer who started ONEFamily Outreach in response to gang violence and youth alienation in a rural community in Southeastern Washington. Since that time, Jerry has worked with communities around the globe to break the systemic hold of poverty by enhancing the strengths of the poor.
Copyright © 2007 Jerry Goebel. All Rights Reserved. This study may be freely distributed, as long as it bears the following attribution: Source: Jerry Goebel: 2007 © http://onefamilyoutreach.com.
Scripture Quotations noted from NASB are from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD VERSION of the bible. Copyright © The Lockman Foundation 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995. Used by permission. (www.Lockman.org)
The New Testament Greek Lexicon based on Thayer’s and Smith’s Bible Dictionary plus others; this is keyed to the large Kittel and the “Theological Dictionary of the New Testament.” These files are public domain.
The Old Testament Hebrew Lexicon is Brown, Driver, Briggs, Gesenius Lexicon; this is keyed to the “Theological Word Book of the Old Testament.” These files are considered public domain.
NAS Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible with Hebrew-Aramaic and Greek Dictionaries. Copyright © 1981, 1998 by The Lockman Foundation. All rights reserved. (www.Lockman.org)
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